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H&t Business Stretegy

Autor:   •  March 8, 2011  •  Case Study  •  3,301 Words (14 Pages)  •  1,736 Views

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H & T Business Strategy


Within the methodological domain in business research there has been a long-standing criticism of qualitative research because of its use of small samples and the lack of scientific rigour in making objective measurements for the statistical validation of a study (Proctor, 2000; Goodyear, 2000). Where the collaboration of senior managers is essential and companies are sensitive to divulging information relating directly to their business strategies in overseas markets which are highly competitive, a qualitative approach to probe in the data gathering context is appropriate. As Silverman (1997) stated, effectiveness in research embraces sensitivity in the choice of research instrument and a flexible approach to data collection, including the art of asking questions. Sudman and Blair (1998), who encountered the presence of unstated "hidden agendas" in the minds of managers, concluded that the main answer for researchers was, therefore, "to ask questions". Cavusgil and Das (1997) also warned against lack of attention to methodology in cross-cultural research, because "it remains a hindrance to arriving at convincing conclusions", supported from the work of others including Aulakh and Kotabe (1993).

From the outset there was a need to attend to the purpose of research and clarification of objectives not only for the researcher but also for the respondent. The personal in-depth interviews in the research for this paper allowed for the clarification of objectives being made verbally to respondents. Using in-depth interviews to probe into respondents' attitudes, motivations and behaviour enhanced greater understanding of the business issues involved, supported by the objective measures from the Likert scales and the chi-square tests.

There is a growing and varied body of literature in research papers and books about how organisations can develop successful business strategies. These include the need for companies to develop a strong strategic focus, rigour in planning, effective applications of business mix strategies to operations, keen emphasis on business orientations and good management styles (e.g. Schlegelmilch, 1986; Day and Wensley, 1988; Narver and Slater, 1990; Porter, 1990; Baker et al., 1998; Bradley, 1999; Mühlbacher et al., 1999). Comparative studies directly examining the business strategies of overseas companies in competition with indigenous firms in the UK market were developed in the 1980s by a number of authors to research competition in the UK (Doyle et al., 1986); extended overseas to US and Japanese headquarters organisations of UK subsidiaries (Wright, 1993; 1994); and to companies in Germany (Shaw, 1994). The individual in-depth interview using a semi-structured questionnaire with key decision-makers concerning business provided the main basis for data


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